Who we are

EAI staff includes specialists in the areas of biology, benthic macroinvertebrates, coastal ecosystems, ecology, environmental permitting, ichthyoplankton and meroplankton taxonomy, protected species management, submerged aquatic vegetation, terrestrial flora and fauna, vegetative restoration, and wetlands management and mitigation.


EAI employs a number of full and part-time technicians to assist senior staff with a variety of field and laboratory activities. Additionally, EAI has established a broad and diverse network of associate scientists whose expertise can be drawn upon as project demands dictate. EAI also has excellent working relationships with a number of state-certified laboratories that can perform a broad spectrum of chemical analyses on ground water, surface water, and sediment samples.

Stan DeForest

President/CEO Ecological Associates, Inc.

MBA Business Management, Cornell University,  S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Kettering University

Stan serves as the President and CEO of Ecological Associates, Inc. He has over 20 years’ experience and a wide ranging and diverse background of technical and general management in large and small companies. It is Stan’s personal belief that being socially and environmentally responsible and being a successful business can go hand-in-hand. Stan is heavily involved in identifying new ways in which emerging technologies can be adapted and applied to the services EAI provides.



Niki Desjardin

Director of Operations

M.S. Biology, Florida Atlantic University
B.S. Biology, University of Richmond

Niki has over 20 years of experience managing protected species monitoring programs and coordinating/conducting field work in Florida. Her expertise is in sea turtle nesting beach management, shorebird/seabird conservation, and habitat conservation planning. Niki is the FWC Marine Turtle Permit Holder for EAI. She also serves as EAI’s Director of Operations, coordinating with the Company CEO on strategic planning, supporting business development, and overseeing senior staff. Niki works closely with clients, regulatory agencies, and the public to ensure EAI’s work products meet the highest quality standards. Niki coaches personnel at all levels on technical, managerial, and leadership topics.  

Mark Mohlmann

Senior Project Manager

B.S. Biology, George Mason University

Mark has over 22 years’ experience designing, implementing, and managing large scale projects in the aquatic sciences. Responsible for programs including CWA 316(a) and 316(b) projects, turbidity compliance monitoring, taxonomic analysis, seagrass monitoring, biological characterization studies, and assorted marine-oriented projects within EAI.  He is the primary database management developer for the company with over 20 active project databases. Mark is an FAA Part 107 certified remote pilot for drone operations and manages drone projects for EAI. Mark is a member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) and American Fisheries Society (AFS) and has been an active participant in the Florida Interagency Calibration Exercise to standardize seagrass scoring and data collection across agencies and universities in Florida for the last eleven years. 

Grace Botson

Project Manager

M.S. Biology, Florida Atlantic University
B.A. Marine Biology, Boston University

Grace has 15 years of professional experience in coastal protected species monitoring in Florida, including conducting and managing nesting surveys, data collection and analysis, and reporting for sea turtle and shorebird monitoring programs on both nourished and non-nourished beaches.  She also has experience preparing biological assessments and habitat conservation plans for public and private sector clients.  She coordinates with state and federal agencies, engineering firms, and local stakeholders, supports business development, oversees staff, and serves as the Health and Safety Officer for the company.


Christina Macon

Environmental Resource Program Administrator

B.S. Biology, Florida Atlantic University

Christina has 13 years of professional training and experience in land management principles, wildlife surveys, native flora identification, natural resource impacts, mitigation calculations, environmental resource permitting, mangrove permitting, and compliance inspections for environmental regulations. She also has specialized experience in proprietary authorizations, lease inspections, conservation land protections, and water quality sampling protocols for multiple State agencies. Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent and Stormwater Management Inspector.





Jimmy Sellers

Director of Business Development and Finance

M.B.A. Environmental Management, Florida Atlantic University
B.S. Psychology, University of Florida

Jimmy has 19 years of experience working in Florida with roles in scientific research, water resource regulation, and consulting. His career has spanned project management,  business operations, and business development in the planning, environmental, and engineering fields. Jimmy has wide-ranging experience in planning, state and federal permitting, bidding, construction oversight, permit compliance, and monitoring of coastal restoration and construction projects in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. His field experience includes wetland delineation, submerged aquatic vegetation surveys, and marine construction oversight for beach and dune restoration, boat ramp development, dock and fishing pier construction, navigation improvements, shoreline stabilization, hardbottom mitigation, and wetland fill/restoration/mitigation projects. Jimmy serves as our Business Development Manager and leads our firm in pursuing new work and coordinating with clients on business logistics.


Carrie Scarola

Project Manager

B.A. Environmental Studies, Florida Atlantic University – Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

Carrie has 14 years of professional experience in protected species surveys and observation, permit-compliance turbidity and water quality monitoring, environmental assessments, benthic macroinvertebrate community ecology, submerged aquatic vegetation monitoring, and sediment analysis. She is the primary polychaete taxonomist and serves as the Quality Assurance/Quality Control Officer and Health and Safety Officer for the company. Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent and Stormwater Management Inspector.


Kaitlin Wood, P.E.

Lead Engineer

M.E. Environmental Engineering, University of Florida
B.S. Environmental Engineering, University of Florida

Kaitlin has 5 years of experience working with a variety of South Florida utilities and municipalities on complex environmental engineering projects. She is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Florida and has specific experience with providing clients with consulting services related to design, permitting, contractor procurement, and construction administration. Kaitlin has worked on a number of water and wastewater projects, ranging from septic-to-sewer conversions to treatment plant operating permit renewals. She is particularly interested in the intersection of engineering and natural resources, and utilizing designed ecological systems to provide non-traditional engineering solutions.


Aquatic Sciences

Matt Scripter – Senior Scientist
Lead Taxonomist and Statistical Analysis
Ph.D. Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology
M.S. Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology
B.S. Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology



Coastal Protected Species


Lauren Maline – Biologist
Sea Turtle Nesting Specialist
B. A. Marine Biology, St. Francis University

Joseph Pessolano – Biologist
Sea Turtle Nesting Specialist
B. S. Coastal Biology, University of North Florida

Chelsey Petersen – Biologist
Sea Turtle Nesting Specialist
B. S. Biology, Eastern Michigan University

Liz Ranalli – Biologist
Sea Turtle Nesting Specialist
B. S. Biology, Sonoma State University

Jaymie Reneker – Biologist
Sea Turtle Nesting Specialist – Volusia County
M.S. Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington
B.S. Biology, Iowa State University

Joseph Scarola – Senior Scientist
Sea Turtle Nesting Supervisor and Lighting Specialist
B.S. Biology, University of California Los Angeles

Environmental Resource Management

Laurie Allnatt – Program Manager
GIS and Mapping Specialist, Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, Stormwater Management Inspector
B.A. Geography, Florida Atlantic University

Erica Collins – Biologist
Laboratory Coordinator and Taxonomist, Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, Stormwater Management Inspector
B.S. Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University

Keith Dawson – Biologist
GIS Specialist, Drone Pilot, Stormwater Management Inspector

B.S. Geography, Florida Atlantic University 

Justin Fehntrich – Biologist
GIS and Mapping Specialist, Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, ERP and ROW Permitting, Stormwater Management Inspector

B.S. Coastal Environmental Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Rachel King – Senior Scientist
ERP and ROW Permitting, Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, Stormwater Management Inspector
M.S. Ecology – University of Georgia
B.S. Biology – University of Central Florida 

Allie Lamb – Biologist
GIS Specialist, Stormwater Management Inspector
B.A. Conservation Biology, Florida Atlantic University – Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

Michelle Luce – Biologist
M.S. Ecology – Florida Institute of Technology
B.S. Ecology – Florida Institute of Technology 

Patrick Murphy – Senior Scientist
International Society of Arboriculture Arborist, Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, Stormwater Management Inspector 
B.S. Environmental Science, Nova Southeastern University 

Jessica Richards – Biologist
GIS Specialist, Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent
B.S. Environmental Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology

Jennifer Smith – Senior Scientist
Professional Wetlands Scientist, Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, Stormwater Management Inspector
M.B.A. Business, Palm Beach Atlantic University
B.S. Environmental Science, University of Florida

Catherine Trimble – Biologist
Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, Stormwater Management Inspector
B.S. Biology, Florida State University

Meike de Vringer – Senior Scientist
GIS Specialist, ERP Permitting, 40-Hour HAZWOPER certified, Stormwater Management Inspector
M.S. Earth Sciences, University of Amsterdam
B.S. Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam